Tag: Golden State Warriors

Monday buffet: Which way will it be?

In our constant quest for understanding, information and a reasonably-priced Cabernet, we present the Sunday night/Monday version of the luau buffet brunch (because brunch isn’t just for breakfast anymore). As always, the traditional rules: Use a clean plate each time, eat all you take and consume all alcoholic beverages on the premises, please.
• So, the same Arabs the president accused of dancing in the streets as the World Trade Center came down are suddenly, at least the ones in Saudi Arabia, among our most important allies in the Middle East? Something smells in Washington, as usual. Or maybe we just need better friends, like Canada, Germany, France, the British … remember how nice they were?
• You wonder at times, what Obama (or either Bush or Clinton or Reagan or Carter) would have done in this situation, but there’s just no precedence for the type of situation we’re in here. Especially with someone as unpredictable as the current resident of the White House. I’d like to think past presidents would have sent their own investigators in, though.
• In the same vein: The president said Kavanaugh was being considered guilty until proved innocent during his hearings, but the thousands of Guatemalans trying to cross the border into Mexico and, presumably, enter the United States are “criminals,” without the benefit of a trial?
• Bring us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses … but only if they’re the best people, right? Emma Lazarus, and the rest of us who still cling to the ideals that hunk of copper in New York Harbor stands for, weep.
• I think the last rioting I saw in California was … oh, hell, I don’t know. Maybe over the last avocado, or someone trying to snag one of those $22 Dodgers NLCS tickets.
• And there goes the 82-0 season for the Warriors. That’s it, trade them all. Call up the kids from the Santa Cruz Warriors, at least they’ll try!
• Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, home of your San Francisco 49ers, just south of Great America, is downwind from a one-time dairy ranch. Which explains a lot about the 49ers in the “Life Without Garoppolo” era.
• The only thing worse? Whoever dressed the Rams on Sunday. Stockholder in a mustard company, or someone trying to remind us to slow down before the light changes?
• And finally, this public service announcement: Monday is the last day to register to vote in the midterms in California. Not just the national and state office are up for grabs, but plenty of local boards that may impact your life more are up for grabs. Not to forget all those propositions the California ballot is famous for, from water and hospital bonds to how much space farm animals should have. If you haven’t yet, register at https://registertovote.ca.gov/


King to Cooperstown: Holy Toledo!

The word cut through cyberspace and Northern California airwaves much like a Dave Stewart fastball. Or a pass from Ken Stabler to Clarence Davis. Or yet-another perfect Rick Barry free throw.

And, of course, topped off with an emphatic “Holy Toledo!”

Bill King, recipient of the Ford Frick award. Next stop: Cooperstown, 2017.

Of course, this award is for excellence in baseball broadcasting, which he did so well for the Oakland Athletics from 1980 until his death in 2005.

But, for all who have lived and breathed the San Francisco Bay area sports scene since the late 1950s, it’s validation for his work in all three sports. And he may have been better at basketball and football than at baseball.

LA had Vin Scully in baseball and Chick Hearn in basketball, but we had Bill King.

Both are one-trick ponies in many ways in comparison, namely, because they worked just the one sport.

For 50-plus years, he was courtside with the Warriors, behind the plate at the Coliseum or, in the same booth along the 50-yard line, painting word pictures of some of the greatest moments in Bay area sports history.

But beyond the routine of the game, there were the intangibles that even today’s blowed-dried pretty boy broadcasters miss without replay, helped by color analysts speaking in something resembling Sanskrit when it comes to their sport, with their talk of cover-2s, the wildcat and zone vs. man-to-man defense: Defensive switches, substitutions, changes in strategy, you name it.

And not just for the radio audience, but the thousands (like me) who turned off the network motormouths and listened to King describe what we were seeing on TV, before the proliferation of satellites and cable TV made this futile.

Off the air? You’d be more likely to find him at the ballet, opera or studying Russian literature, or, hitting the high seas as soon as NBA season ended, not to be seen again until the Raiders opened training camp.

Oh, those words! So perfect for the occasion, whether it was the defining moment of the game or yet-another tirade against NBA officiating (and we’ll refer you to the books by two of his biggest boosters, Hank Greenwald and Ken Korach, for all the details on the infamous Mother’s Day game).

But why write about them when we can listen:
From the Bay Area Radio Museum, the end of the Raiders-Chargers “Holy Roller” game in 1978:


From YouTube: A few highlights of the 1974 Dolphins-Raiders game mentioned above, the famous “Sea of Hands” game with Clarence Davis in the Promised Land:

Also from the Bay Area Radio Museum site, parts of a Warriors-Sixers game in 1977:

Another touch of the NBA, from a special commemorating the Warriors’ 1975 NBA championship. From YouTube:

From YouTube, what may very well be the last interview with King, orchestrated by KNBR’s Gary Radnich, who’s joined by the great Art Spander and Tony Bruno:

And, believe it or not, a little bit of minor league hockey, involving the San Francisco Seals and the Seattle Totems in a playoff game, doing color along with Roy Storey. Again, via the Bay Area Radio Museum:
http://bayarearadio.org/audio/seals_hockey/sf-seals_seattle-totems_1963-whl-final_ut B32k.mp3

But this is about baseball, of course, so let’s start with an interview with Korach, talking about his book, with another great set of pipes, the Orioles’ Gary Thorne. Via YouTube:


Speaking of Dave Stewart: His no-hitter vs. the Blue Jays, via YouTube:

A’s defeat Red Sox in playoff game on a walkoff bunt:

A’s win 20th straight game on walkoff homer:

Holy Toledo, indeed!